Answering 10 Question
August 19, 2023
The following is an article from Medium.com copied in regular print, and my response is typed in italics with smaller print. I have attempted to do the impossible by answering "crucial subject matters" that he claims my fellow Christians cannot answer... The article is written by a person with the tag "Enemy of Humanity'' titled 10 Questions Christians Cannot Answer - Part One. He invites comments. Here are mine.
The following are ten critical questions regarding crucial subject matters Christianity cannot answer. Although they’re open to discussion, they’re equally intended for personal contemplation.
1 How is it possible for God to be both omnipotent and omniscient, yet incapable of evil? (Isaiah 45:7)
Response: This question makes no sense to me whatsoever. The fact that God is all powerful and all knowing has nothing to do with His ethical superiority. God certainly knows about evil, and He condemns pernicious behaviors of those with "moral agency" as described in the following study:
"However, at least in the Hebrew, the English word "evil" is inappropriate. "I begin by showing that raˤ and its derivatives have a wider semantic range than their supposed English counterpart. They are regularly applied to objects that lack moral agency and cannot, according to the above definition, be considered evil. In Biblical Hebrew, rotten figs (ṭəˀēnîm rāˤôt; Jer 24:2), an abscessed tooth (šēn rāˤâ; Prov 25:19), a wild animal (ḥayyâ rāˤâ; Gen 37:20), and a downcast countenance (pānîm rāˤîm; Neh 2:2) can all be described as rāˤ. These examples—and others like them—suggest that the Hebrew word raˤ possessed a series of overlapping meanings ranging from ‘harmful’ to ‘deficient’ when applied to objects without moral agency. ‘Evil’ is not an appropriate translation in these circumstances. But even when raˤ is predicated of moral agents such as humans and deities, it is unclear that it ever descends to the depths of immorality conjured by the modern English word ‘evil’. This is particularly true when raˤ is associated with Yahweh, the patron deity of ancient Israel and the forerunner of the Judeo-Christian God." https://classicalstudies.org/search-root-all-evil-there-concept-%E2%80%98evil%E2%80%99-hebrew-bible
So, then, my most basic knee jerk and currish retort to your query is, "This is God's world and we're living in it." But a more educated explanation is that God, like an upright earthly father, loves his children and not only wants the best for them but also has a pretty good idea what is best for them. However, most parents will recognize that their experienced suggestions do not always sit well with their children. It's that free will dilemma: We can only sit by and hope our children make good choices and hope they will, at least, consider our advice to them.
2 Why would God confess he regretted creating mankind if he already knew what was going to happen? (Genesis 6:6)
Response: God certainly knew what to expect, especially from people who had a fallen nature (Greek, "sarx"). If you have been around the block at least once, you might also know what to expect from people. Hope reigns eternal, but that free will dilemma overpowers wiser decisions, and people do grow very naughty. Violence, rape, murder, total moral depravity... I'm sure my Dad, even though he loved me dearly, had the same thoughts of disappointment cross his mind... no matter how briefly... My Mom and Dad wanted children, they loved us, cared for us, protected us as far as humanly possible. They could take pride in my older brother, but I was the classic prodigal. Dad was so glad when I came to my senses. Unfortunately for me, just as I was looking forward to a summer of being his friend, he passed away. My dad and I didn't get the chance, but God always does renew the journey to fulfill His plan... Maybe the possibilities outweighed His regrets.
3 Why would God, an “all-powerful and all-knowing being,” require or demand constant love, praise and acknowledgement? (Exodus 34:14)
Response: On Father's Day, and sometimes in between Holidays, my children show their appreciation for my often inept parenthood. Somehow your idea that God "demands constant love, praise and acknowledgement" is skewed by the notion of God being a demanding tyrant, not a loving Father. A relationship with God is a two way street - just like with our family, a little appreciation goes a long way. God of the Bible is the only true and living one and is not at all like the made up gods and religions that give nothing and take whatever you may have to offer. The made up gods made of wood and stone and whatever are just that: wood and stone and whatever. They don't talk let alone respond to a person's needs. How can something I fashion be superior to myself? Idols just don't make any sense, and only harm, and only mischief can come from their associated religions. Superstition and fear of the unknown are their birthmother. God wants a personal relationship with people and has made a way through the Gospel of Jesus - believe it or not... It's that free will dilemma again.
4 If God forgives and also commands it, why didn’t he forgive the devil, or Adam and Eve? (Hebrews 8:12 & Daniel 9:9)
Response: Did any of them ask for forgiveness? Certainly not the devil, "the father of all lies." As for Adam and Eve, they both passed the buck, blaming one another - Eve blamed the serpent; Adam blamed Eve (and I think blamed God a little for God planting that stupid tree in the middle of the Garden). Yet, God had a plan. I cannot know all of God's plans, because I just work here. His thinking might be above my pay grade... and yours: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV. Maybe we should also expect that to be true of the Creator of the Universe, Earth. and Mankind.
5 Why would God create free-will only to eternally punish those who don’t use it the way he wants? (Isaiah 65:12)
Response: You might need this info: "sin" has a meaning slightly different than that archaic religious word: sin is an act implying harm, harmful, harmfulness... God doesn't want for us to harm ourselves or to harm other people, animals, or the planet we all live on. He gives tons of opportunities for us to change our minds, and to change our ways, and to turn from our harmful thinking and behaviors to get right with God... and beyond all that, when turning to God, He gives us the ability, or power, to do so, simply by availing ourselves to Him, to call on Him in the name of Jesus. That has been His plan from the beginning. But we are rebellious like a lot of adolescent teenagers are. Even when we realize we might be in the wrong, our pride gets in the way. We like to think we are never in the wrong. Again, free will becoming nothing more than an egotistical choice.
6 If God ultimately uses everything and everyone for his will and purpose, why is becoming a Christian even necessary? (Proverbs 16:14, Ephesians 1:4–5, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8)
Response: You keep on ignoring the free will dilemma! The Bible says that everyone has done harm in one way or another. We have missed the target - another way of saying "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God": In Romans 3:23-24, the apostle Paul puts it in rather simple terms: "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." That is the Gospel in a nutshell. We are separated from God by deeds and egotism, but we can be redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus on that cruel Roman cross - a propitiation for us - Jesus took what we deserved so we could receive the gift that we don't deserve. "We are bought with a price." - 1 Corinthians 6:20. Also think about this: "And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires." - 2 Peter 1:4, NLT. You might also be helped by reading Ephesians 2 (https://biblehub.com/bsb/ephesians/2.htm).
7 Why would God need or command people to carry out his will if he can do so himself at anytime?
Response: You are suggesting that God should just play with Himself? Why should people have little people? Why should children play nice with their friends? God doesn't need people. People need God. I'm sure God could get along perfectly well all by Himself and avoid all the hassle. My wife and I have kids and we are glad we did. We love them. They love us. They are a source of joy for us. Our grandchildren, even more so. Your contention that God could carry out His will without people?!? Again, you're not making any sense whatsoever! What "will" are you talking about?!?
Anyways, I tried to answer your perplexing question...
8 If God created free-will, humans, Satan, and the universe, isn’t he responsible for their results?
Response: Yes, He is. That is why there is going to be an exciting conclusion to the story. However, yet again you have not come to grips with the dynamics of personal free will. All of us have choices to make, and unfortunately, rejecting God, Jesus, and the Bible is one of them. I insist that it is obvious God did not create puppets. Otherwise, how would you describe the dynamics of love?
9 Why would God ever require or demand the love from lesser and sinful mankind to begin with? (Isaiah 64:6 & Romans 3:23)
Response: As I said previously, God says such things for our own good. God knows that He knows what is best for us, because He created us! He wants us to stop hurting ourselves, the Earth where we live, and other people. He doesn't think of us as you are thinking, as inferior to Himself. He wants to adopt us as children in His family. Romans 5:8 - " But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Like my Dad knew when he demanded my respect and obedience and a little appreciation, he only wanted what was best for me and eventually a little bit of thankfulness - even though, at the time, I was an inferior being in every way.
10 If the devil “created” evil and is the root cause of it, why does God allow him and evil to exist and thrive?
Response: I assume that there are lessons to be had for all who see his evil influences and destructive works. Let me remind you that the devil does have an end and where there will be no escape. Again it's that darn free will dilemma. Calling on God is a choice. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9, NIV. God allows "evil to thrive" because of that patience. My Dad was patient with me, because he loved me. God is patient with me because He loves me. He is patient with everyone, including you: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16, BSB. There is this also, "I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. - Philippians 1:6 Amplified Bible (AMP). He isn't finished with me yet, and I'm guessing that He is waiting to start a work with you. (It's your choice.)
If there are thorough and sound answers to any of these questions, please, leave them in the comments and I will review them, and perhaps respond in a future article.
Response: I hope this is, at least, the beginning of thorough and sound answers, as you requested, from a Born Again Bible Believing layman, in essay form, and is, at least, a start for answering your questions.